If you have problems with your teeth, you may be wondering whether you should see an endodontist or a dentist, or what even the difference between endodontists and dentists is. Both endodontists and dentists take care of your oral health and can perform procedures in order to treat oral health concerns, however, they have different specialties. Here is what you need to know about the difference between endodontists and dentists.
What Is A Dentist?
A dentist is essentially like your primary care physician, but for your oral health. You see a dentist every year for a professional cleaning and dental exam. If you are experiencing any issues, such as toothaches or gum sensitivity, you can bring them up to your dentist so that they can determine the cause and the best course of action.
Your dentist can identify oral health issues, as well as treat a number of different dental problems, such as filling in a cavity. If you have a more complex dental problem, such as a root canal, your dentist may refer you to a specialist, such as an endodontist, in order to ensure that you receive the necessary treatment.
What Is An Endodontist?
An endodontist is a dental specialist who is focused on treating the interior of your tooth. All endodontists are dentists, but only about 3% of dentists are endodontists. This is because the difference between endodontists and dentists is that endodontists need additional specialty training after completing dental school in order to go from being a dentist to an endodontist.
Since endodontists specialize in the interior of your teeth, they are the best people to see if you have a condition such as a root canal. With their specialized training and equipment, they are able to minimize patient pain and increase the chances of saving your natural tooth.
How Do You Know If You Should See An Endodontist Or A Dentist?
Since there is a difference between endodontists and dentists, you generally need to see one or the other. While endodontists are dentists, they’re specialists, which means that you wouldn’t go to an endodontist in order to have your teeth cleaned or for a routine dental exam. If you need standard dental care, you would see a general dentist. If your general dentist cannot help you with your dental concerns, they will refer you to a specialist who can.
Said specialist may be an endodontist if your problems are with the interior of your teeth. If you have problems with your gums, you may be referred to a periodontist, who specializes in gyms. If you have a root canal, a cracked tooth, or dental trauma, you’ll likely see an endodontist.
However, you do not always need to see a dentist before you can see an endodontist. There are times when you can go right to an endodontist. For instance, if you have suffered a dental trauma, such as having a tooth get knocked out, you can go right to an endodontist and they will do everything in their power to save your natural tooth.
The Difference Between Endodontists And Dentists For Root Canals
Since both dentists and endodontists can provide root canal therapy, you may wonder if it is better to stick with your general dentist in order to obtain the necessary treatment or if you should go to a specialist. While dentists can perform root canals, and can do them quite well, they do not perform them anywhere near as often as endodontists do. While a dentist may do a root canal every now and then, endodontists do them every day.
Thus, if you have a root canal, it is better to go to an endodontist, because they have much more experience with performing root canals and can better ensure your comfort and a higher success rate at saving your tooth.
The Importance Of Both Endodontists And Dentists For Optimal Oral Health
Ultimately, in order to ensure optimal oral health, you want to see both a dentist and an endodontist, depending on your oral health concerns. A dentist can help keep you from needing to see an endodontist by filling cavities before they get the chance to turn into root canals. An endodontist can help save your natural tooth if you suffer from a root canal or a cracked tooth or some sort of dental trauma. While there is a difference between endodontists and dentists, both of them together can work to keep your mouth in good health and to preserve your natural teeth.
Dr. David G. Johnson, DDS, provides exceptional endodontic services. If you need endodontic treatment, please do not hesitate to contact our office today. We’re here to help save your natural teeth and to help preserve your oral health.